Which Make/Model of car to consider or avoid – Cars, Transport & Getting Around – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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Which Make/Model of car to consider or avoid

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Posts: 45
Premium Member
Topic starter
(@bdgfn)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago

We currently live in Germany and will be moving to Portugal when I retire around the end of the year or early next year. We are starting to look for a good used car to purchase here and drive to Portugal. I am familiar with the importation process and know that as long as I can show I have owned the car for at least six months I will not have to pay import tax. My question is about which type of car we should be looking for, or what cars we should avoid. Obviously, we are not looking for a big car, truck or SUV, but something smaller, but still large enough to be able to carry our golf clubs back and forth. Yeah, priorities. LOL  Our first thoughts are Toyota or VW as they are good vehicles, last a long time if properly maintained, and should be easy to find a mechanic to work on there. I am looking at a 2013 Ford C-Max TDI, European Specs. Would this vehicle be easy to find a mechanic to work on? European Fords are very common here in Germany. I am thinking we should avoid cars from the UK, like the Mini Cooper, now that the UK has left the EU and it would probably be more expensive for parts, etc. Any thoughts on which makes or models of cars would be preferable will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

23 Replies

Posts: 45
Premium Member
Topic starter
(@bdgfn)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago

I might add that we currently have an old (2003) Toyota Yaris. It is a great vehicle, but we think too small for what we need, i.e., driving to Portugal with luggage, and then hauling golf clubs back and forth.

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1 Reply
Premium Member
(@pipfinder)
Joined: 3 months ago

Active Member
Posts: 14

@bdgfn Hi the most popular small cars here in Portugal are the Opel Corsa or Renault Clio if you go for the newer 3 cylinder petrol models then you will get nearly as good fuel consumption as diesel and future proof. The Golf 1.5 Tsi or the Seat Leon 1.5FR are excellent if you need more space. I would buy in Germany as prices both new and used are less expensive and make sure it is around 6 months ownership before applying for free import. I would not buy a used car in Portugal they all seem to have had paintwork and they rely on hard braking at every junction or roundabout. Small cars here seem to be the ones that are driven the fastest.

 

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Posts: 1771
VIP Member
(@old-bloke)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 years ago

You might want to look at the owner's reviews on this website as part of your research into which vehicle to buy.

http://www.carsurvey.org/

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Premium Member
(@bdgfn)
Joined: 1 year ago

Eminent Member
Posts: 45

@old-bloke Thank you for the link but from what I see, not very useful. Not any recent reviews. I will keep researching, though. Again, thank you, I do appreciate the response!

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Posts: 104
Community Member
(@jeanne)
Estimable Member
Joined: 7 months ago

If availability of servicing and maintenance is the concern, then take a look at the cars available second hand on pt websites.  that will give a good indication of what's popular and what is prevalent on the road in Portugal. 

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2 Replies
Premium Member
(@bdgfn)
Joined: 1 year ago

Eminent Member
Posts: 45

@jeanne Thank you for the suggestion. I had not thought about that.

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Ask Our Expats Consultant
(@thomasandmatthew)
Joined: 4 years ago

Member
Posts: 106

@jeanne this is excellent advice - standvirtual is a good place to start.  Some cars common in other parts of Europe are less common here, with related rareness of parts etc.

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Posts: 98
Premium Member
(@paulr)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 months ago

Accepted as the workhorse go to, the Motor Trade is without doubt The Vw Golf is the answer . Downside they more expensive , but you pay for what you get.

They are reliable ,parts are everywhere. Diesel was always the favourite but seems to be going out of favour .Diesel is more money in PT. Toyota are good but not known for their economy. French cars are good  for mechanical  but the bodies fall apart. Always pay a mechanic to check the car out first, who is totally separate from the seller.  Could save costs later and time in the garage!

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1 Reply
Premium Member
(@bdgfn)
Joined: 1 year ago

Eminent Member
Posts: 45

@paulr Thank you, Paul!

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